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Judah Vee
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Well here was a gig (unpaid) that rubbed me the wrong way. First off let me start by saying I am a bit more then a hobbyist, but not a pro by any means. I actually try to keep my real life (work, friends, ect..) separate from my Magic life. That's basically saying I don't perform in the bars and restaurants I frequent. However, one of my friends is a bartender in a wine bar I relax in and she found out I was a magician. Not sure how, and I prolly should ask her, but I digress.

SO anyways, she asked me to perform a bit for her and some others, to which I tried to bugger off, but she persisted. I showed a few things that I always have with me, to great responses. She pulled me to the side and asked me for another show the next week when I got back into town from work. During my work week, I put together what I thought would go over well out of my tried and true repertoire. Things I know get great responses and reactions. You all know the type of stuff.....lol!

The show night comes and I get to the bar, and she has a select group of friends there, all of who know me in my normal life. I should mention that this is a French Wine Bar and is a pretty fancy place. So you can imagine the type of people that go there. Hoity Toity, is a good way to put it. So anyways, I start my set... No card tricks, no coin tricks, no sponge bunnies.... I am doing stuff like MD, Winner winner, Emergency cash, some AG stuff, etc..... all to dead silence. I mean I am getting nothing. The are paying very close attention, not being rude or anything. When I ask for a helper they help, they examine what I hand to them politely and not extensively, all in all a great audience. Just a very silent one.

I finish up my set, call it a night and go home. Flustered to say the least. I just couldn't figure it out, I have used the patter and effects before. Usually get great responses and reactions. I stewed a bit on it before finally calling my friend up and asking if there was an issue and if they enjoyed the show. She assured me they did and talked about it in great depth after I had left. She told me that they theorized on how things were done and other such subjects, which is fine. Just the silence killed me.....

That was a fustrating show......


-J-
I don't care how fast or slow you are.... As long as I am faster.. -J-
JoshTmagic
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They might have been stunned silent! ha ha It sounds like the show had nothing wrong with it as long as you did your job with the patter and effects Great Job!
Father Photius
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It happens, audiences get stunned. I've seen them so overwhelmed with an effect you would think they all were in a trance. Monk Watson taught me a lot about letting the audience know when the routine was over and it was time for applause to avoid this sort of thing. I believe he put a lot of what he told me in a little booklet that still circulates out there, if you can find it.
"Now here's the man with the 25 cent hands, that two bit magician..."
RussoMagic.com
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All good points they could be stunned, or just not engaged. I have found when I point people out in my patter 'Like the way the guy is looking at me over there' or 'You sir, are looking very close, I have done anything yet', or 'That's fair....huh? Look at him, he is thinking "Yah, right nothing is fair, he is a magician". Simply lines that are slightly engaging/involving with the crowd, breaks down the barrier of 'spectator |performer'.

It's more than patter.. not seeing your act, I can't judge, but try to involve the spectators on a more personal level. It's amazing what can happens to them and you.. and it doesn't matter how big the crowd is.

Just my two cents...

The first effect is you!

Magically Yours,
Russo
magicwatcher2005
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Why should you expect them to spontaneously applaud or otherwise overtly react for you when they don't do that at any other entertainment venue? Certainly they don't applaud or gasp at the movies or during a stage play or at the ballet - so how can you expect them to know you need such applause and laughter for your timing and emotional comfort?

Far more often that not you need to teach an audience how to applaud, laugh, or otherwise outwardly express appreciation for each climactic moment. you want to get this teaching part out of the way very early in your act and you want to be entertaining and likeable when you do it. Pretty sure that lesson is taught as part of "Performing Magic 101" - I've even seen Copperfield do it when he's performing live.
Judah Vee
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OK... I guess I do need to clear up some things.... First, I do know about creating a rapport with the audience. I also learned about applause cues from Michael Ammar. However I never use them as applause cues, more of reaction cues. I never EXPECT people to applaud my close up work.... if they do its a bonus. What I do expect is some type of REACTION, bad or good.... Not what I got here. If I had to describe how the people acted, it would be that they were stoned. I am pretty sure there weren't, but the lack of most any type of reaction was weird. And As I said in my first post, I used effects that I DO get reactions from. I always try to engaged the people I do effects for and a lot of what I do requires some interaction with people, either borrowing items from them, signing things, holding onto things, etc.....

I guess I should have thought harder about the people that go there and what they are accustomed to doing and seeing. Not that I think they are snooty but the high class people I know don't react to much of anything now that I think of it. And they kinda look down their noses at silly things, and as we all know many people think magic is silly.

Either way this whole affair has slid off my back like water on a duck, and I am none the worse for it.


-J-

P.s. I know you guys weren't attacking me or my performance as you haven't seen it, but were only offering GREAT constructive criticism for which I am thankful...

P.p.s: Just got asked to do another show....... hmmmmm...lol!
I don't care how fast or slow you are.... As long as I am faster.. -J-
pickin_grinnin
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Another possibility is that they just aren't the type of people who gasp and applaud a lot. When I watch a magic show or anything else that requires some thought to enjoy, I tend to be very quiet and don't respond much visibly, even afterwards. My wife had to learn that when we watch comedy shows (live or on TV), I often don't laugh. I'll say "that's really funny" in a somewhat deadpan voice. That's just my natural reaction - I find it just as humorous as she does, but I do my laughing on the inside. When we're watching a live performance I work hard to show my appreciation by laughing, smiling, etc., but I have to do so deliberately. It's not a natural response for me.

Is it possible that they felt they needed to be a little more subdued because of the environment of the place, since it's somewhat hoity-toity>
Judah Vee
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Quote:
On 2014-02-20 20:20, pickin_grinnin wrote:
Another possibility is that they just aren't the type of people who gasp and applaud a lot. When I watch a magic show or anything else that requires some thought to enjoy, I tend to be very quiet and don't respond much visibly, even afterwards. My wife had to learn that when we watch comedy shows (live or on TV), I often don't laugh. I'll say "that's really funny" in a somewhat deadpan voice. That's just my natural reaction - I find it just as humorous as she does, but I do my laughing on the inside. When we're watching a live performance I work hard to show my appreciation by laughing, smiling, etc., but I have to do so deliberately. It's not a natural response for me.

Is it possible that they felt they needed to be a little more subdued because of the environment of the place, since it's somewhat hoity-toity>



Absolutely my thoughts......
I don't care how fast or slow you are.... As long as I am faster.. -J-
Pete Legend
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Train them to clap and to react. Some people don't know how to respond to magic/mindreading. Slag them a little for not being vocal, draw attention to their silence and make fun of it. Let them know it's ok for them to gasp, shout, scream etc Something along the lines of " I know you guys are probably going wild on the inside but the silence is freaking me out so I give you all permission to high five me, fill my wallet with cash or buy me a few pints each time I amaze ye... is that a deal yeah?! " Also with these people you got to work harder than usual to interact with them, focus on the journey rather than the destination. In other words the craic, banter, mischief and the glint in the eye all need to there more than ever....

I'm sure you are a fine performer by the way just crowds like this need to be thought how to react Smile
Howie Diddot
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I sometimes perform for people that react as you described, with no reaction.

I perform with props such as the MD, Industrial relation and Shift Self Bending Fork. If I run into a small group like this, I slow myself down and when the cube is covered, I stare them down, looking in the eyes and pursing my lips until I get a reaction, soon everyone is reacting and I announce the number, then make a big deal of looking at the cube and asking everyone if they want to be next.

When I perform Industrial relation, I go very slow have someone check the date on the quarter, show both sides of the deck and quarter and have someone push the quarter back into the deck while I push the other side and ask if they see it is the same quarter. When the quarter comes out I let them check the date again and then ask for a hand, and reveal the block, allowing everyone to examine it as I hand out the quarter to also inspect.

When you get the spectators talking they all relax and participate.
daffydoug
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You never know the reason for the silence. I remember one time performing in a talent show, and could not figure why a certain guy in the front row would not respond to ANYTHING.
Well, I got my answer pretty quick. He was the next person to come up and compete in the contest. Yeah. Somebody grabbed him by the arm and led him up on stage. The dude was flat Ray Charles blind.

Film at eleven.
The difficult must become easy, the easy beautiful and the beautiful magical.
E.E.
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People needs to know when to applause. I sometimes use the line "spontaneous applause would be appropriate" when they keep silence aftar an effect is done
I shall see you on the other side.
daffydoug
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The study of "applause cues" would be highly beneficial.
The difficult must become easy, the easy beautiful and the beautiful magical.
E.E.
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Totally
I shall see you on the other side.
daffydoug
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One thing that separates the men from the boys is the pros know exactly how to cue applause when they want it. It's part of showmanship.
The difficult must become easy, the easy beautiful and the beautiful magical.
E.E.
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Hell yeah, everybody wants the applause, but the truth is that you have to know how to produce it.
Sometimes I start my show with a joke, I say "ok people listen, everytime that I do something that you found incredible awesome or unexplicable, you all applause ok? and everytime I do something that you found stupid and not very impressive ,you applause harder alright? (audience laughs) that usually is enough
I shall see you on the other side.
daffydoug
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For those new to magic, here's a secret: To get applause, you need to cue it with a gesture, which I find it hard to describe in text. But even deeper than that, is what goes on in your mind and thoughts. You are going to need some self esteem here. Your inner script is surely going to be "I've earned the applause, I deserve it, and I'm worthy of it!" (Providing of course you just did something amazing and impossible that I'll presume you worked hard for and practiced and rehearsed for tirelessly till you could do it so well that you don't even have to think about it.

"(The difficult must become easy, the easy must become habit, and the habit must become beautiful!)"

It all boils down to showmanship.
I would unhesitatingly and without reservation recommend the book "Showmanship For Magicians" to every new soul embarking on a magic career. It is FOUNDATIONAL.

Google "The Fitzkee Trilogy". It will be one of your all time best investments.
The difficult must become easy, the easy beautiful and the beautiful magical.
J-L Sparrow
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Quote:
On Feb 14, 2014, Judah Vee wrote:
..... all to dead silence. I mean I am getting nothing.


This reminds me of a time almost five years ago when I was reading my way through one of Karl Fulves' self-working magic books. I had found "The Red and the Blue," a card trick that uses no sleight-of-hand, but certainly looks as if it did. And when done correctly, it looks like the performer is a master prestidigitator.

Eager to try out this new trick, I asked a soon-to-be-departing coworker if he was interested in seeing a card trick as a sort of farewell gesture. He agreed to watch it, so I proceeded to show him.

When I finished the trick, he was dead silent. His facial expression showed no hint of astonishment or surprise -- just an emotionless stare in the general direction of the cards and the table.

A bit crestfallen, I feared that he had surmised the fairly simple secret. (As a lot of us know, many astonishing illusions employ a rather simple secret.) It appeared that I hadn't done a good enough job of concealing the secret from him. Giving myself a chance to redeem myself, I offered to show him another magic trick. His reply:

"Not now. You just blew my mind with that last one."

Had he not said that, I would've thought my presentation a failure. But in reality, he was so stunned by the trick that he didn't know how to react!

This experience made me realize that "no reaction at all" means that the spectator(s) may be too stunned to know how to react. After all, magicians are in the business of demonstrating impossible things (which we see all the time on TV and in the movies, but never right in front of us), and when a human being sees something impossible in real life, it's not clear how one is supposed to react, never having experienced it before. ("Their brains have locked up," some people say jokingly.)

(Sure, it's usually understood that if it's a magician performing something impossible, it's "just a magic trick," but every once in a while an illusion is performed so well that even those who logically know that "it must be a magic trick" have trouble believing it themselves. And this in turn can come as a surprise to the magician who clearly knows there's a trick behind the illusion.)

So my take is that the dead silence you experienced should be taken as a compliment, not as discouragement. Good job on your performance, Judah!
SandwichMan
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I'm glad to have read this post.

I'm a hobbyist myself. I performed at my college last year for a small group of students (around 20 people). I did some geek magic which was pretty gruesome, but just like you, I got NOTHING from them. I was so nervous after each part of my routine ("Did I flash? Was the method obvious? DO I SUCK?"). Afterwards, people told me it was so disgusting, they didn't know what to say, hahaha. Still...the feeling is very nerve wrecking. Since we've experienced it once, I'm sure the next time (hopefully there won't be, but if there was one) we wouldn't be stressed about it.
Music is meaningless if it cannot be FELT be cannot it if meaningless is magic.
Uncle Joe
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I perform in Japan and receive standing ovations for the great and not so great effects.
With western audiences,engaging is critical.
Sometimes the audience sees a magic act as a challenge rather than entertainment.
Husbands sometimes don't want to look surprised or amazed in front of the ladies.
One insecure member of the audience can set the atmosphere.
There are various ways of dealing with this as most of you know.
Also I find if it looks like they are doing the magic( you know the effects) then that can reduce
The us v's them mentality.
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